Retailers are often a source of leaks for upcoming products. Sometimes they’re mistakes which turn out to be accurate. As opposed to someone trolling their employer or the gaming community at large. I’m hoping it’s the former, as Walmart Canada appears to have listed a host of upcoming games ahead of the annual E3 conference. Including Rage 2.
What makes this more interesting is the response of publishers Bethesda. Usually a company will stay quiet or dismiss a leak. But that’s not what happened here. Instead, the dormant Twitter account for the original Rage title released in 2011 sprang back into life.
— RAGE (@RAGEgame) 9 May 2018
And it was followed up by a response from the official Bethesda account, and a tweet from Pete Hines SVP of Global Marketing and Communications at Bethesda. The fact Bethesda responded with ‘Dude’, and Hines saying ‘This is why we can’t have nice things’, isn’t entirely promising, but at least they’re having fun with the supposed leak.
This is why we can’t have nice things. https://t.co/ZhOHGsITfp
— Pete Hines (@DCDeacon) 9 May 2018
There are some reasons to doubt the announcement of Rage 2 has been leaked. For one thing a lot of games listed alongside it are pretty obvious titles including Just Cause 4, Forza Horizons 5, Assassin’s Creed, Splinter Cell, Gears or War and Borderlands. Forza Horizon 4 hasn’t been announced yet and has a singular horizon, and the Walmart ‘boxart’ for Assassin’s Creed is missing an apostrophe for starters. So not entirely convincing. But a sequel was planned before being cancelled in 2012 in favour of a focus on Doom, and Pete Hines previously hinted that sales of the original Rage were enough to justify a sequel back in 2015 and 2016.
Rage 2 Would Be Cool:
A modern Rage 2 would be an interesting title. The original game was released in 2011, and was the last to be released by id Software under the supervision of founder John Carmack. It marked the end of an era that began with Wolfenstein, and led to Doom and Quake before Rage appeared.
And Rage did get positive reviews and some awards in 2010 prior to release. It looked great for the time, including the console versions, although there were some issues with PC compatibility. And it was interesting by combining the first person shooter combat and exploration on foot with the ability to drive armed vehicles in both the open world sandbox and structured race events.
I really enjoyed the Xbox 360 version. The driving segments were decent enough, but the first person exploration and combat worked really well. The combat, weapons and ammo types all work really well. You get a visceral thrill from using each type of gun or the three-bladed boomerang known as a wingstick. But you can also then modify your attacks by using different ammo to fire rockets from your shotgun, for example.
The plot isn’t amazing – it’s a post-apocalyptic future wasteland inspired by the likes of Mad Max. And the characters you encounter are serviceable, including Dan Hagar, voiced by John Goodman. But it’s not particularly inspiring or memorable – that tended to come from the encounters with enemies and the functional AI which allows you to focus on playing around with your methods of attack rather than worrying about what they’re up to.
Rage was on the id Tech 5 engine which was first replaced for the 2016 release of Doom, and since for Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus and Doom VFR, so it’d be interesting to see a new version of Rage with even better graphics on the latest consoles and hardware. And perhaps a more cohesive and memorable approach to the plot and characters. Rage did also spawn three DLC packs, the Wasteland Sewer Missions, Anarchy Edition and The Scorchers up to December 2012, along with a Mac and mobile version of the game.
We’ll probably have to wait until the Bethesda E3 Press conference on Sunday, June 10th, 2018 to find out whether Rage 2 is actually a real thing or not. But in the meantime, we can enjoy both the response from Bethesda, and also Eurgamer’s headline for the news, which is probably the videogame headline of the year so far:
So there’s that, at least.